Pacho Flores, Leo Rondón and Manuel Hernández-Silva meet again, this time together with the Gran Canaria Philmarmonic Orchestra, to offer a program that includes Kalinnikov’s Symphony No. 1 and two trumpet concerts: the Concerto Venezolano, by Paquito D’ Rivera, and Cantos y Revueltas, by Pacho himself. The concert will take place at the Alfredo Kraus Auditorium in Las Palmas on Saturday, May 6 at 8:00 p.m. These two trumpet concerts have several things in common, such as the fact that they were composed for a wide range of instruments of the trumpet family that include trumpets, cornets and flugelhorns, all with four pistons and manufactured by STOMVI: cornet in C, trumpet in C, cornet in G, flugelhorn in B flat and cornet in F for the Concerto Venezolano, and flugelhorn in B flat, cornet in D and trumpet in C for Cantos y Revueltas, which means that Pacho comes on stage with 6 different instruments.
Another thing both works have in common is the presence of the Venezuelan cuatro; in the case of D’Rivera, integrated as part of the orchestra, and in the case of Flores, as co-soloist with the trumpet —not in in vain this piece bears the subtitle Fantasia concertante for trumpet, Venezuelan cuatro and strings. Rondón is one of the most outstanding virtuosi of this instrument and has collaborated with ensembles such as the Quatuor Debussy, L’Arpeggiata by Christina Pluhar or the Mexican tenor Rolando Villazón, as well as with orchestras such as the Real Filharmonía de Galicia, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Orchestre National de l’Ile de France, Orquesta Sinfónica de la Región de Murcia, Valencia Orchestra, Castilla y León Symphony Orchestra, Extremadura Symphony Orchestra, Navarre Symphony Orchestra, Tunisia Symphony Orchestra or Malaga Philharmonic, and he will soon debut with the Gran Canaria Philharmonic. Future engagements will take him to Sweden and Norway.
The Concerto Venezolano is a joint commission between the Minería Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, the Valencia Orchestra and the San Diego Symphony Orchestra, which have premiered it under the baton of conductors Carlos Miguel Prieto, Domingo Hindoyan, Manuel Hernández-Silva and Rafael Payare, respectively. Cantos y Revueltas was premiered by the Real Filharmonía de Galicia and Manuel Hernández-Silva, and is the main work on the homonymous album by Deutsche Grammophon.
The absolute premiere of Albares, Pacho Flores’ concert for flugelhorn, will take place next Friday, April 29 at 7:30 p.m. at the Adán Martín Auditorium in Tenerife, performed by Pacho himself with the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra (OST) under the baton of Christian Vásquez. A second trumpet concert, Danzas Latinas by Efraín Oscher, commissioned and premiered by the Real Filharmonía de Galicia in November 2021 under Manuel Hernández-Silva, and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64 will complete the program. This flugelhorn concert is the second work composed by Pacho Flores for solo instrument and orchestra after Cantos y Revueltas, fantasia concertante for trumpet, Venezuelan cuatro and strings, which was also premiered by the Real Filharmonía de Galicia and Manuel Hernández-Silva in January 2018, featuring Leo Rondón on the Venezuelan cuatro, and which is part of the homonymous album for Deutsche Grammophon, Pacho’s fourth recording for the yellow label.
The instrument construction technique has always been vital for the development of music; not in vain instruments are the tools whose evolution and improvement have allowed composers to go a step further, demanding from the performers increasingly greater skills in order to exploit the potential of their new works, a classic virtuous circle. The appearance of pistons expanded the possibilities of brass instruments and therefore their importance within the orchestra, as well as their role as solo instruments, as was the case with Haydn’s Trumpet Concert, commissioned by Weidinger for a new instrument with valves that allowed him to play the chromatic scale, soon improved by the incorporation of the three pistons. Nowadays, Pacho Flores is promoting both an expansion of the solo trumpet repertoire as well as an unprecedented technological evolution of the instrument. Both lines do not run in parallel but intermingle and feed each other back continually, allowing their mutual development.
The expansion of the repertoire comes about through an ambitious project of shared commissions to leading composers, who write trumpet concerts for the new four-piston prototypes in new keys developed by STOMVI. Pacho works closely with the engineers in the development of these instruments, whose timbre and register possibilities are made known in advance to the composers, so that they know what they can expect from them. The fact that Pacho uses different trumpets in the same concert means that the expressive possibilities of timbre, color and range of these pieces are multiplied. In Albares, Pacho has given this process a new twist by requiring STOMVI to manufacture three new instruments to meet the demands of the work. For the first movement, Bambuco, a C flugelhorn has been constructed, for the second, Milonga, a low A flugelhorn, and for the third, Periquera, a high D flugelhorn.
Pacho Flores conducts the absolute premiere of Leo Rondón’s Concierto del mar for Venezuelan cuatro and orchestra, with the Orquesta Sinfónica de la Región de Murcia, on Sunday, April 24. This is probably the first or one of the first concerts for Venezuelan cuatro and orchestra ever written. The cuatro, a descendent of the guitar, smaller in size and with four strings (hence its name, cuatro), is an instrument of Venezuelan and Colombian popular music, although there are some differences between one and the other. In recent years and thanks to a brilliant generation of performers, among whom Leo Rondón stands out, this instrument has been gaining presence in the orchestral music scene. Pacho Flores himself gave it an important presence in his work Cantos y Revueltas, fantasia concertante for trumpet, Venezuelan cuatro and strings, in which Rondón was in charge of the cuatro solo part, and which both recorded together for Deutsche Grammophon with the Real Filharmonía de Galicia under Manuel Hernández-Silva.
Leo Rondón has a long history of collaborations and has worked with ensembles such as Quatuor Debussy, Christina Pluhar’s L’Arpeggiata or the Mexican tenor Rolando Villazón, as well as with orchestras such as the Real Filharmonía de Galicia, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Orchestre National de l’Ile de France, Orquesta Sinfónica de la Región de Murcia, Valencia Orchestra, Sinfónica de Castilla y León, Extremadura Symphony Orchestra, Navarre Symphony Orchestra, Tunisia Symphony Orchestra or the Malaga Philharmonic, and he will soon make his debut with the Gran Canaria Philharmonic, with future commitments in Sweden and Norway. Naturally, he also keeps one foot in traditional music, collaborating with the Alexis Cárdenas quartet and other ensembles. Concierto del mar is his first symphonic work.
Pacho, for his part, has already some experience as a conductor and he is increasingly delving deeper into this facet. He has conducted the International Trumpet Guild Festival Orchestra in San Antonio, Texas; the Kammerensemble Konsonanz of Bremen in the recording of trumpeter Fabio Brum’s album EGREGORE for Naxos, in which he also acts as musical producer; or the Brass Ensemble of the Bogotá Philharmonic. Pacho is also an active composer. In addition to the aforementioned Cantos y Revueltas, other compositions include Musas y Resuello, for brass ensemble and percussion and premiered in Bogotá; Heterónimos, for trumpet and small orchestra, included in the album by Fabio Brum and which, together with Preludio y Fuga for strings, will have its absolute premiere at this concert in Murcia; or Albares, the new concerto for flugelhorn that will be premiered next April with the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra under Christian Vásquez, in addition to other works recorded on his album ENTROPÍA such as Morocota,Labios vermelhos, etc.
Pacho Flores and Leo Rondón appear in the concert season of the Castilla y León Symphony Orchestra (OSCyL) together with maestro Carlos Miguel Prieto, with whom they will perform at the Miguel Delibes Cultural Center in Valladolid (April 8 and 9), as well as at the Festival de Música Sacra de Segovia (April 7) and the Semana de Música Religiosa de Cuenca (April 11). Flores and Rondón participate as soloists in two works on the program. The first of them is the Concerto Venezolano, by Paquito D’Rivera, in which will be the first performance of this piece after the series of premieres by the four orchestras that participated in its commission (Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería with C. M. Prieto; Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Domingo Hindoyan; Valencia Orchestra under Manuel Hernández-Silva; and San Diego Symphony with Rafael Payare) has been completed.
The second piece is Cantos y Revueltas. Fantasía concertante para trompeta, cuatro venezolano y cuerdas, by Pacho Flores himself, in which he shares the leading role with Leo Rondón and his Venezuelan cuatro. It was premiered by the Real Filharmonía de Galicia under Manuel Hernández-Silva and recorded live for a double CD/DVD by Deutsche Grammophon.
D’Rivera’s Concerto Venezolano is part of an ambitious project to expand the repertoire for solo trumpet and orchestra that involves, in addition to D’Rivera, other outstanding composers such as Arturo Márquez, Roberto Sierra, Christian Lindberg, Efraín OScher, Daniel Freiberg or Gabriela Ortiz. Orchestras from all over the world have become involved in this project of shared commissions, and these new concerts are being premiered from the USA, Mexico and Brazil in America to Turkey and Japan in Asia, across Spain, France, the United Kingdom, Sweden and Norway in Europe. The performance of these concerts requires a wide variety of new four-piston instruments in various keys —trumpets, cornets and flugelhorns, some of them authentic prototypes—, which are provided by the Spanish company STOMVI and in whose development Pacho actively participates together with its engineers.
Pacho Flores and Paquito D’Rivera recording D’Rivera’s Concerto Venezolano
Pacho Flores and Leo Rondón will soon collaborate again at the premiere of the Concierto del Mar, for Venezuelan cuatro and orchestra, with Pacho Flores conducting the Orquesta Sinfónica de la Región de Murcia and Rondón as soloist. This absolute premiere will take place at the Víctor Villegas Auditorium in Murcia on Sunday, April 24, but it will not be the only absolute premiere of the program, as other works by Pacho Flores, such as Preludio y fuga para cuerdas, composed expressly for the occasion, and Heterónimos, for trumpet and orchestral ensemble, will also be premiered. Heterónimos, though already recorded, has never been performed in public. Inspired by writings of Fernando Pessoa, it is dedicated to the trumpeter Fabio Brum, who recorded it for Naxos in the album EGREGORE, in which Pacho acted as producer and conductor of the orchestra.
Pacho Flores performs the Brazilian premiere of Salseando, by Roberto Sierra, with the Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo under Carlos Miguel Prieto, next March 31 and April 1 and 2 at the Sala São Paulo. The program also includes the Concerto for corno da caccia by Johann Baptist Georg Neruda. This will be the third premiere of Salseando after those in the United Kingdom by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic under Domingo Hindoyan (January 2020) and in Spain with the Murcia Region Symphony Orchestra conducted by Manuel Hernandez-Silva (December 2020). This series of premieres is resumed this season after the cancellations due to the COVID19 pandemic, and will conclude with the premiere in France by the Orchestra National de Bordeaux-Aquitaine, again under the direction of Hernández-Silva (June 2022).
Salseando is part of the project of shared commissions for new trumpet concerts that Pacho Flores himself is promoting with outstanding composers such as Arturo Márquez, Paquito D’Rivera, Efraín Oscher, Roberto Sierra, Christian Lindberg, Daniel Freiberg and Gabriela Ortiz. These premieres, with the delays caused by the pandemic, have been taking place uninterruptedly since September 2018, when the first premiere by Arturo Márquez took place, and will for now last until December 2023, when the last premiere by Gabriela Ortiz will take place.
A total number of 24 orchestras from all over the world will have participated in this project of shared commissions for new concerts, whose premieres will have taken place from the USA to Japan across Mexico, Brazil, United Kingdom, Spain, France, Norway, Sweden or Turkey. The concerts have been specifically composed for the incredible technical skills of Pacho Flores and for the variety of instruments, some of them real prototypes, that the Spanish manufacturer STOMVI puts at his disposal. These new instruments, with four pistons and in various keys, are the result of a constant research and development work in which Pacho is personally involved together with the STOMVI engineers, led by Vicente Honorato, president and alma mater of the company.